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Hisashi Iwakuma turns in another subpar start
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

Hisashi Iwakuma entered Sunday's game against the Astros looking for his first quality start of September, and he left with his quest unfulfilled. Iwakuma lasted only 4 1/3 innings in the Mariners' 8-3 loss, as he coughed up four runs on six hits and three walks, though he did manage to strike out eight batters.

In his final regular season opportunity to break his slump, Iwakuma will face the Angels on Friday. He heads into that start with a 14-9 record and 3.54 ERA.

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Rick Porcello has rare sub-quality start
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

Heading into Sunday's game against the Royals, Rick Porcello had notched 21 quality starts in 29 tries, but he fell short in the Tigers' 5-2 loss. Porcello lasted only 3 1/3 innings for his third-shortest start of the season, and he allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks. He also struck out only one batter.

Porcello is slated to make one final start, as he is scheduled to face the Twins on Friday. He will enter that contest with a 15-12 record and a 3.31 ERA.

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Corey Kluber matches career strikeout high
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

Corey Kluber tied a career-best -- one he set in his previous start -- by striking out 14 Twins in the Indians' 7-2 win on Sunday. After getting 14 Ks against the Astros on Tuesday, Kluber repeated the feat and catapulted himself into the major league lead with 258 strikeouts.

Kluber lasted eight innings, holding the Twins to two runs on seven hits and a walk. He is now 17-9 with a 2.53 ERA. The 28-year-old is now set to make his final appearance of the season on Saturday against the Rays.

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Jordan Zimmermann suffers bruised pitching shoulder
by Larry Hartstein |

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann suffered a bruised throwing shoulder Saturday when he got hit by a line drive off the bat of Casey McGehee, reports the Washington Post. Zimmermann narrowly avoided being struck in the face.

"It happened so fast, I don't even think my reaction was fast enough to do anything," he said. "It just happened to be that shoulder was in the right spot in the right time."

Zimmermann said his shoulder is sore but he doesn't think it will affect him going forward. It's unclear if he'll make his next scheduled start against the Marlins.

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Avisail Garcia clouts a pair of homers
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

Avisail Garcia broke out of a minor power drought by homering twice against the Rays on Sunday in a 10-5 win for the White Sox. Both home runs were solo shots off Nathan Karns. Garcia had just two extra base hits -- a home run and a double -- over his previous 14 games.

He finished the game 3 for 5 with two RBI and two runs. Garcia now has seven home runs on the season to go with a .267 batting average.

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Jacob deGrom keeps rolling in win over Braves
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

For the second game in a row, Jacob deGrom notched a double-digit strikeout total, as he added on to a strong string of starts with a win against the Braves on Sunday. The opponents mustered only two runs (one earned) over deGrom's six innings, as the Mets rolled to a 10-2 victory.

After getting 13 Ks in his last start against the Marlins, deGrom got 10 strikeouts in Sunday's outing. He limited the Braves to three singles and three walks, lifting his record to 9-6 and lowering his ERA to 2.63.

According to, Mets manager Terry Collins has not yet determined whether deGrom will make another start this season. The team has targeted an innings limit for him between 180 and 185, and he has now pitched 178 2/3 innings between the majors and Triple-A. Collins is looking to make a decision later in the week.

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Mark Teixeira to see hand surgeon
by Larry Hartstein |

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, held out of Sunday's lineup with a sore right wrist, is headed to see a hand surgeon, reports Teixeira, who's hitting .216 with 21 homers and 58 RBI, might not play again this season.

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Joe Kelly thwarts Orioles for fifth win
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

Joe Kelly tied his career high of seven innings in a start, as he gained the win in the Red Sox's 3-2 victory over the Orioles on Sunday. Kelly held the Orioles to two runs on three hits and three walks, while striking out five.

Kelly is now 5-4 on the season with a 4.15 ERA. His next -- and final -- start of the season will come on Saturday against the Yankees.

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Joey Votto not expected to return this season
by Larry Hartstein |

Reds first baseman Joey Votto (quad) has taken batting practice for four straight days without any problems, but his return before season's end is considered doubtful, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. He's been on the disabled list since July 8.

"He's not pain-free," manager Bryan Price said. "He's not 100 percent, and he won't be at any time during the rest of the season. So the question is, Do we want to play him at less than 100 percent? He still hasn't seen any live pitching."

The Reds are out of the race and would like Votto to enter 2015 spring training completely healthy.

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Masahiro Tanaka effective in long-awaited return
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst

Making his first start in 10 weeks, Masahiro Tanaka showed few signs of his long layoff in getting credited with the win in the Yankees' 5-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday. It was Tanaka's first start since July 8, as he had been recovering from a partially torn UCL in his right elbow.

Tanaka pitched 5 1/3 innings, as he was limited to 70 pitches, allowing one run on five hits and no walks. He got four strikeouts in the game, which raised his record to 13-4 and lowered his ERA to 2.47.

Assuming Tanaka emerges healthy from this outing, he will start against the Red Sox next weekend for his final appearance of the season.

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